Spooked by Russia, Tiny Estonia Trains a Nation of Insurgents

Source: NYT

Since the Ukraine war, Estonia has stepped up training for members of the Estonian Defense League, teaching them how to become insurgents, right down to the making of improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.s, the weapons that plagued the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another response to tensions with Russia is the expansion of a program encouraging Estonians to keep firearms in their homes….

The number of firearms, mostly Swedish-made AK-4 automatic rifles, that Estonia has dispersed among its populace is classified. But the league said it had stepped up the pace of the program since the Ukraine crisis began. Under the program, members must hide the weapons and ammunition, perhaps in a safe built into a wall or buried in the backyard…

But why bother with the stocking caps, the hidden ammunition and the rucksacks if, under Article 5 of the NATO charter, the United States is obliged to send the full might of its military hurtling into Estonia in an attack?

The Estonian government says that ignores Article 3, which stipulates that each member should also prepare for individual defense. But skeptics cite another reason: fears that the United States and Europe might not have the stomach for a confrontation with Russia, even though they are currently building up their military presence in the Baltics. That would leave Estonia to fend for itself.

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